where we work


Fighting Disease

The Carter Center helped Mauritania mobilize its resources to wipe out Guinea worm disease in just five years.

+Eradicating Guinea Worm Disease

Current Status: Transmission stopped, June 2004 (Read the announcement)
Certification of Dracunculiasis Elimination: 2009

Current Guinea worm case reports >

When Mauritania established a national Guinea Worm Eradication Program in 1995, five regions were endemic: Assaba, Gorgol, Guidimaka, Brakna, and Tagant, with 122 villages reporting a national total of 1,240 cases. By the following year, only Assaba, Gorgol, and Guidimaka remained endemic.

To traverse the deserts and reach isolated and remote areas, health workers rode camels, horses, and donkeys to implement their monthly training and case reporting activities. In 1996, the government of Japan agreed to provide 200 wells in endemic areas of the country. Mauritania reported its last indigenous case in June 2004, and after 12 consecutive months with zero cases, disease transmission was considered stopped.

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Size: 1,030,700 square kilometers

Population: 4,005,475

Population below poverty line: 31%

Life expectancy: 64.5 years

Ethnic groups: black Moors (Haratines - Arab-speaking slaves, former slaves, and their descendants of African origin, enslaved by white Moors), white Moors (of Arab-Berber descent, known as Beydane), Sub-Saharan Mauritanians (non-Arabic speaking, largely resident in or originating from the Senegal River Valley, including Halpulaar, Fulani, Soninke, Wolof, and Bambara ethnic groups)

Religions: Muslim (official)

Languages: Arabic (official and national), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French

Source: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook 2020


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